The EU Free Trade Deal With Japan - A Win For European Fashion But A UK Own Goal? Asks Eszter Kantor
The EU - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement has been in the works for over five years. The driving force behind this agreement is not only the need to eliminate tariffs, but also the reduction of non-tariff barriers; which in turn will fuel an increase of foreign direct investment in both markets. The agreement will primarily impact the prices of food and agricultural products, textiles and footwear which will become cheaper with the elimination/reduction of tariffs as well as motor vehicles, for which Japan will align its standards with Europe making it easier for EU exporters to enter the market. Moreover, the agreement covers public procurement as well meaning EU and Japanese companies will have easier access to public contracts particularly in transport, medical devices and electricity distribution.
The Japanese fashion market is worth $25.45bn, with a consumer who has historically bought into British fashion brands: both heritage and avant-garde. This deal is predicted to boost the EU economy by 0.8%: a trade boost which the UK has no part of for a consumer who would have bought into Brand Britain. This agreement gives European stakeholders access to one of the strongest markets in the world (third in GDP), allowing them to diversify their investments and expand production in an era of increasing instability.
This way it works against the destabilizing influence of the United States and Russia and creates an important economic alliance which, in addition to the trade deal, also includes a reciprocal adequacy agreement on privacy and data flawsand an updated mutual recognition agreement on pharmaceuticals.